Program Description

Veterans Pension is a needs-based benefit paid to eligible wartime Veterans who meet certain age or disability requirements.

General Program Requirements

Veterans may be eligible if they:

  • were discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
  • served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time; *or, if  entered service after September 7, 1980, at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty (a minimum of 90 days is required) with at least 1 day during a period of wartime, AND
  • have countable family income that is below the amount set by Congress (unreimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income), AND net worth is not excessive, AND
  • are age 65 or older, OR have a permanent and total non-service connected disability(ies); are a patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR; are receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Wartime Service Requirements

Mexican Border Period World War I World War II Korea Vietnam Gulf War

05/09/1916 to 04/05/1917

Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or adjacent waters

04/06/1917 to 11/11/1918

If the veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, the end date is April 1, 1920
12/07/1941 to 12/31/1946 06/27/1950 to 01/31/1955 02/28/1961 to 05/07/1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise 08/05/1964 to 05/07/1975 08/02/1990 through a date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law

Income and net worth limits apply. Higher income limits may apply if the Veteran is severely disabled. In addition, unreimbursed medical expenses paid by the Veteran may help to reduce the Veteran's countable income.

For more specific information, refer to the Veterans Pension factsheet.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

To complete an application, you may visit and apply online. You may also use VA Form 21P-527EZ (PDF), "Application for Pension", and mail or fax it to the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state. . Check the PMC Locator to find  the PMC having jurisdiction over the claim. 


Program Contact Information

If you have questions:

To apply for additional benefits and view your benefit status, open an eBenefits Premium account. eBenefits is a one-stop source for information on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and services. With a free Premium level eBenefits account, Veterans, Servicemembers and their family members can conduct self-service transactions such as checking compensation and pension claim status information, enrolling in GI Bill, and obtaining copies of civil service preference letters, military records (DD214), and other personal information. For further information and to register for a free Premium level account, visit the eBenefits website.

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